MOSUL Review; “Matthew Michael Carnahan Makes A Stellar Directorial Debut With A Hard-Hitting, Must-See Movie”

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Mosul is the latest movie from Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO production label, and this is definitely a project you need to check out when it arrives on Netflix this Thursday. Find our review right here…
JoshWilding | 11/23/2020Filed Under: “Netflix”
Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo continue making an impact beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to their AGBO production label, and after Extraction broke records on Netflix, the filmmakers are now producing another movie which is on its way to the streaming service (this Thursday, November 26th). Written and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Mosul tells the story of inexperienced Iraqi cop Kawa (Adam Bessa) who is rescued from a harrowing firefight by the elite Nineveh SWAT team. Quickly inducted into the rogue squadron led by the wise Major Jasem (Suhail Dabbach), the unit is under constant threat of attack, but determined to wipe out the remaining ISIS forces in their home. 

Despite being every bit as action-packed, Mosul is a very different beast to Extraction. For starters, it’s entirely in Arabic, but don’t let the subtitles put you off because it will take no time at all to find yourself engrossed in the hard-hitting, often very emotional story that’s playing out on screen. Carnahan does a phenomenal job telling this story, and avoids the expected, sometimes stereotypical action beats you’d expect to see in a film such as this one. There are no American heroes rushing in to save the day, and there’s certainly no last-minute dash to the finish line which sees the team save Mosul; instead, this is a story grounded in realism that makes it clear the damage which has been done to Iraq cannot be undone in just a day.

The entire cast is terrific, but the movie primarily relies on the jaw-dropping work delivered by Dabbach and Bessa. The latter effectively portrays the inexperienced police officer who has to earn the trust of his team and mature extremely quickly in situations he never expected to face, bringing an element of innocence to proceedings, while also exploring the darkness that comes with taking on a job such as this. However, it’s Dabbach that needs to receive some serious awards attention next year because his Major is a battle-hardened, damaged individual who clearly cares deeply about both his men (they’re his sons and brothers) and his country. It’s the little things in the actor’s performance which make his character so compelling and special, and whether he’s picking up pieces of litter off the floor in a city that’s been decimated or mourning his fallen comrades, he’s amazing throughout.

Those of you looking for an edge of your seat action-thriller won’t be disappointed, though, as Carnahan (who makes his directorial debut here, but is perhaps best known for writing World War Z and 21 Bridges) delivers a pulse-pounding, thrilling blockbuster in a movie that is often anything but. The violence is brutal, bloody, and often shocking, but despite that, he manages to deliver something for everyone, and Henry Jackman’s score perfectly compliments what plays out on screen. This definitely isn’t a movie you should sleep on, because as well as being an often very exciting and tense viewing experience, it’s one that educates as well, and you’ll walk away from this one shocked at just how dire the impact of ISIS has been on Iraq.

Matthew Michael Carnahan makes a stellar directorial debut with Mosul, a hard-hitting, must-see movie which sees star Suhail Dabbach deliver an Oscar-worthy performance which it would be a crime to overlook.